Kia ora (hello), this week is known in Aotearoa (New Zealand) as "Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori" (Māori Language Week). While Māori is one of our official languages, very few of us can speak the language fluently (I'm one of the many who can't speak fluently). My Whānau (family) are not native to Aotearoa although I can trace my whakapapa (genealogy) back up to 6 generations here in Aotearoa and also a few generations before my tīpuna (ancestors) arrived here. Like many New Zealanders, I learned a few words and phrases in Māori at Primary school, some of which I have retained into adulthood. 

This week a new app was launched just before Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori and I downloaded it onto my phone this week. It allows you to take a photo of something and then gives you several words in English that it thinks relate to the photo with their translations into Māori (if such a word exists in the Māori language).

I tested the app out on an item that I had crocheted and I was really pleased with the results. Not only did it give me the word for crochet (tuimāwhai), it also suggested:

Kōwhai (yellow)

Miro (thread)

Wūru (wool)

One of the interesting things from the above example is that, while knitting was also suggested, it didn't give me a word in Māori for knitting. 

In honour of Māori language week, here are a few Māori words from photos I took with the app. In case you're having problems reading some of the words in the photos I've put all the words and their translations in brackets before the pictures themselves:

Karaka (orange), whakairoiro (pattern), whero (red), māwhero (pink)

If you live in Aotearoa and want to try out the kupu app (it isn't available in any other countries) you can download it from the app store (I think it is listed as kupuapp - I couldn't find it initially as I was expecting it to simply be called "kupu") or you can find the download link on their website:

The other website I looked at yesterday was an online dictionary (

I typed in "crochet" and was excited that it not only gave you a definition, but also a sentence using the word (and the translation of that sentence into English):


1. (noun) crochet, crocheting.

He wahine toritori ia, ā, i rite tonu ki a ia ngā mahi katoa, arā, te ā kau, te kari wāra, te whakatika taiepa, te whatu me te tuimāwhai hoki (TTR 2000:30). / She was always busy, and could do all types of work such as driving cows, digging ditches and mending fences as well as knitting and crocheting. 


I also decided to check this website to see if there actually was a word in Māori for knitting since it was one of the words listed in the translation of the sentence above. It looks like there are some words you can use to describe knitting:


1. (verb) (-a) to weave (garments, baskets, etc.), knit.

Whatua mai te aho kia kāwitiwiti, kia kātoatoa mō te oti wawe, e hine! (TTT 1/4/1929:s178) / For an earlier completion, weave the cross threads so that they taper and contract, girl!

2. (noun) finger-weaving, fibre-weaving.

Nā te mate haere o ana kanohi, pāngia ake hoki e te kaikōiwi, ka uaua tana whakaoti i te whatu manganga (TTR 2000:76). / Failing eyesight and arthritis made it difficult for her to complete intricate weaving.


1. (loan) (verb) to knit (a garment).


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